May is Tag Team Appreciation Month here at Wrestling Merchandise and Memories, with dozens of unique articles, videos and lists, and even a daily Tag Team Spotlight! And one part of tag team wrestling is a concept I call "SuperTeams."
I remember exactly where I was when I first found what I'd consider to be a SuperTeam (two main event-level stars teaming up to show additional drawing power). It was in Toronto's Maple Leaf Gardens in August 1990, when The Ultimate Warrior teamed up with The Texas Tornado (Kerry Von Erich) to battle Ravishing Rick Rude and Mr. Perfect.
To be clear, the video above is not the match I saw (the Toronto crowd was WAY more into it), but this gives you an idea. While Perfect and Rude as a team made tons of sense, it was the babyfaces Warrior and Tornado that set the match on fire. The crowd was completely into everything they did, and it was quite clear that (at this moment in time) they were the WWF's two hottest acts.
While Warrior and Tornado probably aren't the best example (other than the house show circuit and that year's Survivor Series, they weren't paired together regularly), they still meet all the components of what I'd call a SuperTeam. Fan favorites who are both at the top of the card, and super-over with the crowd.
Of course, there have been many other SuperTeams, before and after that particular pairing...
In 1986, the duo of Dusty Rhodes and Magnum TA were themselves a SuperTeam of sorts in the NWA, battling the likes of The Four Horsemen and Ivan & Nikita Koloff, when Magnum had a career-ending automobile accident. In order to capitalize on the tragedy, the NWA had Nikita Koloff turn babyface and team with Rhodes as The Super Powers, a duo that would go on to win the 1987 Crockett Cup. While natural rivals, Rhodes and Koloff put aside their differences and the promotion saw the creation of one of its biggest tag teams.
A couple of years later, the NWA attempted to do something similar with Sting and Lex Luger as both stars began climbing to the top of the card. While they won the following year's Crockett Cup tournament, it would be years later in WCW before the two would be seen as a true SuperTeam of two top talents that could reunited whenever the situation called for it.
Sting and Ric Flair were temporarily a SuperTeam in the 1990s, although each run would end with The Nature Boy turning heel on The Stinger.
Many years later, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn would become a SuperTeam in their own right. Sure, they began teaming way back in 2007 (as Kevin Steen and El Generico), but it was only after stints in different promotions and years of twists and turns as "frenemies" that they truly became top stars in WWE -- both individually and as a team. In the main event of WrestleMania XXXIX's Night One, Owens and Zayn teamed up again to defeat The Usos and capture the WWE Undisputed World Tag Team Championship.
They're not the example of a SuperTeam in WWE history. When D-Generation X reunited in 2006, both Triple H and Shawn Michaels were top-of-the-card stars who became a recurring tag team. The Brothers of Destruction (The Undertaker and Kane) often had a SuperTeam vibe to them, particularly in the latter years of their careers. In 2011, The Rock and John Cena temporarily put aside their differences to team up, as did The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin throughout The Attitude Era.
As one of WWE's biggest all-time stars, Hulk Hogan had his share of SuperTeam partners over the years, including Paul Orndorff, Rowdy Roddy Piper, The Junkyard Dog, Andre The Giant, Mr. T and arguably the biggest SuperTeam pairing of all-time...
In late-1987, Randy Macho Man Savage was ambushed by The Honky Tonk Man and The Hart Foundation. Savage's manager Miss Elizabeth ran to the backstage area for some help and received it in the form of Hulk Hogan. The pairing, known thereafter as The Mega Powers, headlined several pay-per-views until their eventual break-up. Still, it's hard to imagine two competitors who personify the idea of a SuperTeam more than Hogan and Savage as The Mega Powers.
We're hopeful there will be other teams down the road in WWE, AEW and elsewhere that continue on this rich tag team tradition.